Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Tuesday launched an attack on the BJP and IPFT, saying there was a concerted effort to assume power in the poll-bound state by creating rifts in the society. The 60-member Tripura Assembly is slated to go to the polls on February 18.
The BJP-IPFT alliance has emerged as the main contender of the CPI(M)-led Left Front, which has been in power in the north-eastern state for the last 25 years. The results of the Tripura election will be declared on March 3. At an election rally here, Sarkar alleged that there was a concerted effort to assume power in the state by creating rifts in the society and accused the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) of maintaining clandestine links with terrorists. “Separatist forces had tried to secede Tripura from the Indian Union in the past. The demand has now changed to a separate state,” the veteran CPI(M) leader said. He pointed out that the IPFT had raised the demand for a separate “Twipraland” for the indigenous communities of the state during its inception in 2009. The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), a banned insurgent outfit, was still active across the international border in Bangladesh, Sarkar said, adding that it was trying to “divide the state”. Describing the IPFT as the over-ground mask of the NLFT, he criticised the BJP for forging a pre-poll alliance with the outfit. In an oblique reference to the BJP-led Assam government’s idea of a National Register of Citizens (NRC), Sarkar, who has been the chief minister of Tripura for 20 years, said a conspiracy was being hatched to “drive out” those who were evicted from the then East Pakistan after the partition of the country and given shelter in Tripura. Stating that according to the Constitution, all the citizens of the country, irrespective of their religion, had equal rights, the Left leader alleged that the BJP was trying to change the Constitution and transform India into a “Hindu nation”. Sarkar also said that the “Hindutva” propagated by the BJP-RSS was against the true Hindu ideals, as championed by religious leaders such as Ramakrishna, Lokenath, Anukulchandra etc.
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